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Survey finds mixed signals about holiday spending


Not everyone is feeling confident about retail sales.

U.S.-based importers and suppliers who sell goods to retailers are not entirely confident consumers are going to open their wallets, according to a new survey conducted by Capital Business Credit, a supply chain finance company.

According to the CBC Global Retail Manufacturers and Importers Survey, responses were divided when asked how holiday sales will perform this year compared to last year. Thirty-two believe sales will be stronger, while 29% believe sales will be weaker. Thirty-nine percent believe they will be the same.

“Even though consumer spending has increased over the course of the year, manufacturers and wholesalers that work with major retailers are providing mixed signals regarding how this holiday shopping season will perform," said Andrew Tananbaum, executive chairman, CBC. "In fact, only 27% reported an increase in orders from retailers this year for the holiday season, while 21% reported a decrease."

With consumers programmed to wait for discounts, respondents were split down the middle when asked if retailers will heavily rely on discounting to move merchandise this holiday, with 56% stating yes and 44% indicating they will not.

Of those that stated retailers will rely on discounting, 85% percent believe margins will be impacted.

One thing that respondents did agree upon is the fact that online sales will increase:

• 36% believe online sales will increase 1% to 2%;

• 24% believe online sales will increase 4% to 5%; and

• 33% believe online sales will increase 6% to 10%.

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